Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Heffalump Tail

Once up a time there lived a Heffalump.

Now this was a particularly fine Heffalump - he had a beautiful trunk, he was taller than most of his friends, he had been told that his ears were particularly magnificent. And more than just being an attractive specimen, Heffalump was both liked and respected by those around him. This Heffalump got invited to all the parties, other Heffalumps sought out his advice if they had a problem, and young Heffalumps wanted to be just like him when they grew up.

How this should have made our Heffalump a happy Heffalmup and he was - most of the time. Our Heffalump had a problem - he couldn't see his tail.

He could see everyone else's tails, he could feel his tail move when he wagged it. And he had been told more than once that his tail was as fine as his ears or his trunk or his height.

Now Heffalump knew that his ears were special, he knew that his height was more than just right. But deep inside him, he didn't know for sure that he believed his friends about his tail - he wondered if maybe his tail wasn't fine - after all everyone has a flaw or two - and if they were just being polite.

Over time this worried Heffalump more and more. He didn't eat much as his worrying took away his appetite. He lost condition. Heffalump began to second guess what his friends were saying - he reasoned that if they might be lying about his tail they might be lying about other things.

His friends grew worried. They tried to talk to him but nothing seemed to make a difference.

Eventually Heffalump wasn't invited to all of the parties anymore. And less people began to seek his advice. This suited Heffalump because he wasn't sure he wanted to spend so much time with the herd. He began to take long walks along in the forest by himself. Sometimes he didn't come back for days.

This habit went on for some years until one day he just didn't come back.

His friends took a while to notice. Some suggested they go look for him, others thought that maybe he was just taking a longer walk than usual. Still others, who began to forget that our Heffalump was once liked and respected - it had been so long since they say him laugh, so long since he had said just the right thing at the right time to fix their problem - began to wonder what the fuss was all about.

What became of our Heffalump, well no one but him knows.

So that is a tale about a tail.

Writer's Prompts Daily


Mountaingirl said...

I need to work more on this, especially the ending but I wanted to get a post up - it could take forever to finish to "properly" lol

Julie G said...

Wow, I want to know how you thought of the idea that Heffalump couldn't see his tail?

Mountaingirl said...

One of those random thoughts that pop into my head Julie :-)

PaintWithWords said...

Great story idea. I really like something like this as a children's story!

Megan Bayliss said...

Ohhhhh...nice strong idea for raising self esteem and building community here. Can you share with us when you rewrite this, please? I simply love the idea and can see this working well as bibliotherapy (solving a problem via the use of literature). Bibliotherapy is a good market to get into because something that may present as a piece of children's or adolescent writing can also be marketed to adults - you cover all markets in a single pick of a style :)

pita-woman said...

I started to get a bit choked up and sad.
I've often wondered if I disappeared, how long it would take anyone to notice and would they care?